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California: "Deep pockets carry the day"

The Los Angeles Times reports: Money didn't just talk in Tuesday's election. It screamed.

The year's biggest spenders and biggest winners were the oil and tobacco industries. In almost every contest, candidates and issues with the most money trumped the side with less, even if the losers raised bags full.

Although final numbers won't be known until January, contributors spent a record sum on California campaigns in 2006, more than $600 million. The record was about $500 million, in 1998.

By comparison, the cost of this year's federal campaigns is expected to be $2.6 billion, the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics estimates. And Ed Bender, executive director of the Institute on Money in State Politics in Helena, Mont., predicts that once the money is calculated sometime next year, all state campaigns nationwide will have cost about $2.4 billion. -- Deep pockets carry the day - Los Angeles Times

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